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Pirate Ale

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I need your help guys. The last 3 batches have not been so great. Once the are kegged and conditioned, they taste....well too bitter. They are as follows: a pale ale, an amber ale, and a brown ale. I know, I know....how can I say a pale ale is too bitter..... I guess I should say they are too dry and or not balanced. I used Pacman on all three, and they hit the FG or went slightly past it, every thing seemed fine. I can post recipes,if you'd like, but for the most part they were simple partial mashes.
Each had carapils, and a specialty grain of some type, steeped for 10-15mins at 145 - 155f, and then I do a full boil adding extract and hops per the recipes. The wort tasted fine before fermentation, at racking, and at bottling. It seems that somewhere during conditioning, I am having issues.....

Any ideas?:(
 

rdwj

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Do you adjust your hop additions to account for a full boil? Most recipes for extract are designed for partial boils.
 

Bobby_M

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I'm with rdwj, you got higher utilization than the recipe was expecting. You either need to reduce your hops or start forming your own recipes using a brewing program that accounts for full boils. Oh, you could also use the same amount of hops but reduce boil exposure. IOW, for bittering if it calls for 1oz for 60 mins, you can reduce your boil to half the time (30mins) to get half the IBU. Your pale is now an IPA basically and your brown is like Dogfish's India brown.
 

homebrewer_99

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Copied from another thread...similar subject, here's what I wrote:

In Papazian's CJOHB, 3rd ed, p258, is a Hops Utilization Chart:

The first column states:

approx gravity of boil: 1.040
lbs of malt extract per gals of boiling water: 1lb/gal
time of boil:
15 mins: 8%
30 mins: 15%
45 mins: 27%
60 mins: 30%

The second column states:

approx gravity of boil: 1.070
lbs of malt extract per gals of boiling water: 2lb/gal
time of boil:
15 mins: 7%
30 mins: 14%
45 mins: 24%
60 mins: 27%

I do 1.5 gal boils and only add 1 lb for the entire 60 mins and all the hops per the recipe as required at the required times. This gets the greater hop utilization and uses fewer hops. We're not talking a lot of hops here.:D

I add the rest of the malt at 45 mins.

In another experiment (last week) I boiled the same and instead of using 1 oz of hops and boiling an hour I used twice as much hops and only boiled 1/2 hour. That's exactly the same hop utilization.

My intent was/is to see if the malt does not carmalize as much and the bitterness is the same. Theoretically it should be the same outcome while boiling half the time.

I haven't racked yet so no update at this time.
 

ajf

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It could also be the yeast, as different yeasts have different flavor profiles. I haven't found an American yeast that I like because they all seem to produce flavorless beers, but British Ale yeasts produce nice fruity beers full of flavour

-a.
 

david_42

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Pacman is a very high attenuation yeast, that's where the name comes from. It gobbles its way through malt chains most yeasts can't handle. That leaves you with extremely dry beer, so the bitterness comes through more. Try a tiny amount (1 oz.) of lactose in 5 gallons. That would be a gram in a pint. A dime is 2.27 grams.
 

jcarson83

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Another idea is the difference between whole hops and hop pellets. Most of the utilization charts and equations I've seen are based on whole hops and a lot of people are using hop pellets now which get higher utilization. I've looked for some information on how much better the utlization is but haven't been able to find anything yet.

What I would really like is to be able to adjust Glenn Tinnseths formula to be used with pellets.

http://www.realbeer.com/hops/
 
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Pirate Ale

Pirate Ale

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I appreciate all the replies. I use Beersmtih, correct my hop pellet specs, and use the full boil figures. I think it must be the Pacman. I will try a little lactose.

The good thing is, they rock at ABV%. The super bowl was a real blast after the 3rd pint of my pale ale:drunk:
 

Evan!

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Just an idea, but...I think I know exactly what you're talking about. My extract brews tasted oddly bitter...not like they had too much hops, but more like a weirdly sour bitter.

First, what are your fermenting temps? Pacman likes it colder than many ales. Maier at Rogue ferments in the low 60's.

Second, move over to partial mash. My brews improved dramatically and that sour/bitter taste went away when I switched to PM from extract. There really is something to be said for mashing.
 

Rhoobarb

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One thing I haven't seen mentioned (unless I missed it somehow) - when do you remove your steeped grains?
 

Torchiest

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I was thinking that as well, Rhoobarb. It could be astringency coming out after all the sweetness of the wort has converted to alcohol.
 
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